Missing in Action

In Brief

  1. Learn of the ongoing feud in Whiterun between the Battle-Born and the Gray-Manes over the disappearance of Thorald Gray-Mane.
  2. Find a journal in the Battle-Born lodge which reveals that Thorald is being held in Northwatch Keep by the Thalmor.
  3. Optional: Find a way to save Thorald. Only if you decide to save Thorald alone.
  4. Optional: Recruit Avulstein Gray-Mane as a follower.
  5. Journey to Northwatch Keep and rescue Thorald from the dungeons.
  6. Return to Fralia for your reward.


While in Whiterun you will likely overhear about the feuding between the Gray-Mane family and the Battle-Born. Thorald Gray-Mane, a strong supporter of the Stormcloaks, has recently gone missing. His family believe that he has been abducted by the Battle-Born, who are rivals of the Stormcloaks. The Battle-Born insist that Thorald is dead. Avulstein and Fralia Gray-Mane will ask you to find out what happened to him.

To discover the location of Thorald you will need to look for an imperial missive, located in the House of Clan Battle-Born in town. The easiest way to do this is to claim allegiance to the Battle-Born by speaking with Idolaf Battle-Born, which will grant you free access to the lodge. You can also get free access by helping Lars Battle-Born with his bullying problem. You can also wait at the door for his mother to open the locked door. Otherwise, you can simply sneak in. The missive is behind a locked door in a downstairs bedroom. It reveals that Thorald is still alive, and is being held captive by the Thalmor at Northwatch Keep, far to the north. If you plan to fight your way through the keep, make sure to return to Avulstein with the journal, as he will offer to come along and help.

Another way to get the imperial missive is talking to Idolaf Battle-Born and persuading him to tell you about Thorald’s fate and give you the missive.

Alternatively, if you can obtain the letter revealing the secret love between Jon Battle-Born and Olfina Gray-Mane (generally, by pickpocketing it from Olfina), taking it to Jon and confronting him with it will cause him to give you the imperial missive.

Northwatch Keep is filled with guards, who will all turn hostile if you are caught trespassing. If you talk to the guard in front, you will have an option to ask for the release of Thorald. The guard will say that requires an imperial order. If you travel to Castle Dour in Solitude, you can ask General Tullius about Thorald, but he will say it is just not possible because of the Thalmor. Joining the Legion and even finishing the Legion’s quests does not change General Tullius’ answer.

Either sneak your way past or jump into the melee, but begin making your way down towards the dungeons. Release Thorald from his restraints, and he will tell you that he’s going into hiding. Lead Thorald and Avulstein (if he has accompanied you) safely back the way you came out of the Keep. Return to Fralia for your reward: an enchanted weapon which deals elemental damage.